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The Oklahoma Capitol rotunda is pictured in 2017. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World file

OKLAHOMA CITY — Tulsa is among 10 locations for town hall meetings to discuss a ballot initiative seeking to create an independent redistricting commission.

The meeting is set for 6-8 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Wilson Teaching & Learning Academy, 2710 E. 11th St.

People Not Politicians last month filed papers with the Oklahoma Secretary of State indicating they are seeking a vote on a constitutional amendment to create an independent redistricting commission.

They need nearly 178,000 signatures to get it on the ballot in 2020.

The Oklahoma Legislature currently draws the districts following the census.

“We are actively looking for Oklahomans from across the state to help get this critical initiative on the ballot in 2020,” said Andy Moore, executive director of People Not Politicians. “Oklahoma is a populist state and Oklahomans are well-aware that our politicians are currently failing us on many fronts.

“We look forward to meeting with people all over our state who agree that the people will be able to better draw their legislative and congressional districts to represent them, not politicians who only want to get re-elected.”

Some lawmakers have been critical of the effort.

“Liberal politicians like President Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder are using these kinds of proposals as a way to support radical progressive viewpoints in Oklahoma and other states,” said state Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, when the effort was formally announced. “This is a redistricting coup, not an attempt at fair maps. This is a power play by out-of-state liberals in an attempt to force an agenda on Oklahomans. The Oklahoma Senate will do its job and handle redistricting in a fair manner.”

The Senate has hired Keith Beall as its redistricting director. Beall served as chief of staff to former Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, a former Senate Republican from Enid. He also served as Lamb’s campaign manager in a failed bid to secure the Republican nomination for governor.

Beall will be paid $105,000.


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